Dog Control

Licensing

Bowen Island Municipality does not require licensing of pets at this time, however, dogs must wear a tag with their name and owner's contact information. Tags can be purchased from local pet stores - they are not available for purchase from the municipality.

What to do if you find a dog on Bowen Island

During business hours

If you find a dog during regular business hours of Monday to Friday, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm, please call Bylaw Services at 604-328-5499. The Bylaw Officer will ask you the following:

  1. Do you recognize the dog? Can you take the dog to its home? Or call its owner?
  2. Look for tags on the collar, (sometimes a name and number are written directly on the collar) and call the number. It may take some time for the owners to respond.
  3. Ask some neighbours - they may have a visitor that owns the dog.

If you are unable to safely keep the dog until it's owner is found, a Bylaw Officer will come to the scene to help.

After hours or on the weekend

If you find a dog after hours or on the weekend:

  1. Do you recognize the dog? Can you take the dog to its home? Or call its owner?
  2. Look for tags on the collar, (sometimes a name and number are written directly on the collar) and call the number. It may take some time for the owners to respond.
  3. Ask some neighbours - they may have a visitor that owns the dog.
  4. Try posting on the Bowen Island Phorum – you need to be able to log in, so you may need to ask a friend to help.
  5. There are multiple Facebook pages that you can post to including: Bowen Island Everything Else, Bowen Doggies (and other pets) and Missing Pets in BC. They may require permission to post.
  6. If you are unable to keep the dog in the interim please ask a friend or neighbour to help. In our experience, 90% of dogs are returned to their owner within one hour.
  7. If all else fails please call the after-hours Bylaw Services hotline at 604-202-6499 or the RCMP non-emergency line at 604-947-0516  for assistance.

Barking dogs

What to do if you own a barking dog

  1. Ensure that the dog is getting sufficient mental and physical stimulation (i.e. walks, sports. tricks, doggy daycare, dog sitters and walkers.)
  2. Bring the dog indoors, move the run or pen to an enclosed area (e.g. basement) where the dog can’t see or hear whatever stimulates the barking (e.g. children, pets, traffic etc.)
  3. Crate train your dog and crate your dog while you are away. Dogs are den animals and are content to be in a confined space with enough room to stand or lay down comfortably. Ask a local trainer for more information.
  4. Turn on a radio or other device that will cover up noises that induce barking. Human voices will keep a dog company.
  5. Boredom Barkers: distract with bones or chew toys. Try a stuffed, frozen, fillable dog toy.
  6. Sonic devices that emit high-pitched sound heard only by the dog when it detects barking may have positive results.
  7. Citronella spray collars help with some dogs and are not harmful.
  8. Try calling one of Bowen’s dog obedience trainers for assistance.
  9. You may need to continue trying new ideas, what works for your neighbor's dog may not work for yours. Don't give up.

What to do if you are disturbed by a barking dog

  1. Often dog owners are unaware that their dog barks when they are not home. If the barking that disturbs you occurs when the dog is left alone, and you feel comfortable doing so, approach the owner and tactfully discuss the problem with them. Many dog owner react well to a friendly approach. Be prepared with ideas or suggestions. Most people are open to rational negotiations to resolve a problem.
  2. If you are not comfortable approaching your neighbor, or no results come from your friendly visit, call Bowen Bylaw Services at 604-328-5499. Bylaw Services will speak with the suspected dog owner and inform them that there has been a complaint, we will also discuss the same ideas and suggestions as in the "Barking Dog" Section. Please let us know if the disturbance continues.
  3. If excessive barking continues, Bylaw Services will ask you to fill in a "barking log". We may visit the neighborhood a few times to listen for the barking. We will ask you to canvass the area and ask other neighbors if they are also disturbed by bothersome, incessant pet noise. As "disturbs the quiet, rest, or enjoyment of the neighborhood" is very subjective, a noise complaint is much stronger if more than one person has the same complaint. If Bylaw Services evaluates the complaint as valid, and the alleged offender has made no attempts to lessen the disruption, fining will occur.